I noticed an advertisement for a golf training DVD which referred to golf hypnosis as “just a placebo”. It made me realize once again that the majority of people (who do not know what hypnosis really is) jump to this same incorrect conclusion.
Scientific research has in fact proven that hypnosis creates activity in a different part of the brain from that which is related to the placebo effect. Hypnosis is a very powerful tool in enhancing anything which involves using your mind, and golf has got to be the most mental game there is. Hypnosis is incredibly effective in helping you to get your mind around golf and to acquire the calm focus which this great game inevitably requires.
But let’s not knock the placebo effect either. The placebo is no little thing to be dismissed as insignificant. The placebo has enormous power. In drug studies it is acknowledged that the placebo effect is seen in 20 – 30% of participants; this is not to be “sniffed at”. The fact is that simply by thinking that something will work, it will indeed work for 20 – 30% of the population. It really does pay to be a believer, or to have a positive expectation.
Your mind works in such a way that if you expect something to happen, this is generally what you will subsequently see. The suggestions used by golf psychologists and golf hypnotists take advantage of this basic fact. If you know how your mind instinctively works you can make a choice to take advantage of it. To ignore the placebo effect is, to be perfectly honest, extremely wasteful and I would venture to say rather stupid.
And to brush aside golf hypnosis as “just a placebo” compounds that wastefulness even further. Hypnosis is a natural state of relaxation. In learning to use hypnosis you learn how to calm and relax yourself in an instant; this is pretty useful in the game of golf. Hypnosis provides access to your subconscious mind which is the part that acts instinctively and automatically, and it therefore enables you to program your mind to focus upon aspects of golf in the way in which you might like. Hypnosis provides a state of heightened awareness and focus which once again is more than a little bit helpful when you are playing golf.
I could go on and on about how golf hypnosis is the very best way in which to straighten out your game and sink those putts, but I think you know by now where I’m coming from! Please don’t dismiss golf hypnosis as “just a placebo” and do not dismiss the placebo effect either. Why not try it for yourself? The proof of the pudding is in the eating, and this is a particularly delicious pudding!
Roseanna Leaton, specialist in golf hypnosis and author of the GolferWithin mind training system.